Victor Rod and Gun Club hosted the fourth annual WorldWide Spring Classic, the “Richest Little Shoot in New York State,” on April 28. This 12-gauge and Doubles one-day event kicks off the registered skeet season in Western New York. Enticed by $2000 in added money, 42 shooters took to the well-manicured fields with high expectations after waiting through a long winter anticipating the fun and camaraderie of registered skeet shooting.
The shooters started to arrive for registration early in the morning. The process was aided greatly by the online pre-registration. The shooters were in very good spirits as they gathered in the club house. They enjoyed a hearty breakfast, while catching up with old and new friends. The clubhouse and the grounds were in excellent shape. The machines were dialed in to throw great targets against a perfect background. The referees were ready and eager to hit the fields.
After the long winter, the shooters were prepared for whatever Mother Nature could conjure up for the day’s weather. The first squads out were met with calm winds, gray skies and a short drizzle. It wasn’t snowing, though, so the shooters were a happy bunch.
The morning started with the 12-gauge event. Although this is one of the first registered shoots in Western New York, the shooters were ready to post mid-season scores as evidenced by two 100s and a handful of 99s. Justin Aldrich and Mathew Kelley took their 100s to the shoot-offs. Justin prevailed as 12-gauge Champion in a short shoot-off, with Mat being the runner-up. Rick Laurito Sr., Dess Ivanov and Steve Wood shot off for AA1 and AA2. Steve was the first to bow out. Rick won the shoot-off coming back around to station four for the AA1 title. Other 12-gauge winners included Mike Haff A1, Rick Laurito Jr. B1, Jim Grundman C1, Mark Jesske D1 and Joe Messineo E1. Catherine Forbush was the 12-gauge Lady Champ. Congrats to Catherine on her first visit to the Victor Rod and Gun Club.
At midday, the shooters were drawn to the clubhouse for a delicious lunch prepared by Chef Gary. The light rain that was present in the early morning had stopped, and the weather turned pleasant. The sun came out and the temperatures warmed all the way into the 50s. The Doubles competition was on tap for the afternoon. Mat Kelley was in mid-season form with an unmatched score of 99, thereby claiming Doubles Champion title. Six shooters had scores of 95 in Doubles, forcing multiple shoot-offs. Rick Ayers took the first shoot-off to become the Doubles runner-up. Don Lewandoski prevailed in a shoot-off to become the A class champ. Other winners were Scott Van Etten AA1, Ed Cornelius B1, Larry Fillmore C1 and Joe Messineo D1. Victoria Barner was the Doubles Lady Champ.
For the sixth year in a row, a shoot-off was not required to crown the HOA champ. Mat Kelley surpassed the field by 4 targets with his fine 199×200. Justin Aldrich’s 195 was unmatched for HOA runner-up. A three-way shoot-off was required to determine the HOA AA class champion, and Dess Ivanov came out on top. The remaining HOA class winners were Rick Ayers A1, John Mutchler B1, John Quealy C1, and Joe Messineo D1. Catherine Forbush was the Lady HOA champ.
Victor Rod and Gun Club is an all-volunteer organization, like so many other clubs. The club members did a great job of preparing for the shoot and working during the day of the shoot. Everything ran smoothly from registration through the shoot-offs. Special thanks go to shoot chairman Andy Nolan and to Keith and Max for their efforts to make the administration process efficient. The shooters and referees noticed the effort and were appreciative.
We cannot thank Rick Simmonds enough for his generosity in sponsoring this shoot. Rick is a longtime member of VRGC, and we appreciate his support of this shoot.
We also want to thank Chief Referee Dan Caryl and his crew of referees. The referees did a fantastic job as always. Most importantly, we would like to thank the shooters. Without shooters willing to travel from across the region to participate, we could not have a successful shoot. We are very fortunate to have such a passionate group of skeet shooters in this part of the country. We hope to see them all again in 2020!
For more information about our club and events, visit www.victorgunclub.com.
– Contributed by Wes Bailey